The Australian startup Rescude is a research-driven medtech company in the field of respiratory health. Rescude is developing a new dry salt therapy device as a potential treatment for long COVID. Moving to the Netherlands and Amsterdam, as their country and city of choice to live in, Rescude made visits to several health innovation ecosystems in The Netherlands. In 2022, CEO and co-founder Cameron Hay chose to become partner of the Health Valley network and set up a R&D office in Nijmegen. A startup visa was a necessary step. Oost NL is an official startup facilitator and helped Rescude, together with Health Valley, go through the process successfully. In this fourth episode of our international startup series we would like you to meet Rescude.
CEO and co-founder Cameron Hay
Rescude BV, recently founded in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, aims to develop and sell a new clinically proven, dry-salt therapy device for people who suffer from long COVID and other respiratory illnesses. The technology is based on an existing saline therapy device, Salin Plus. Through the device, patients inhale microscopic dry salt particles that create a hypertonic saline solution (HSS) in the lower respiratory system, which has the potential to assist people suffering from long COVID.
The Australian founders have long been suppliers in the market for devices that deliver microscopic salt particles into the air. With all the focus on COVID patient care, there is also evidence for positive effects of saline particles and hypertonic saline on the daily functioning of patients with long COVID.
Informal testing of the current device
Rescude has provided the current device to a small number of people in the Netherlands who suffer from long COVID and asked them to complete the standard Fatigue Severity Scale and Visual Analogue Fatigue Scale. Users were asked to turn on the device near their bed before going to sleep and then turn it off upon waking. These trials are still underway, but preliminary results show a clear trend towards reduced fatigue for most users after using the device for 1 á 2 weeks.
Rescude's salt cartridge, inside the new device
“For now it is an idea, a crude device and a global health problem. A great deal more thinking, research and expertise are needed to hone this preliminary hypothesis, that inhaling small doses of microscopic dry salt particles reduces chronic fatigue for some people suffering from long COVID. We have to test it and then, hopefully, convert the results into an effective and safe treatment for millions of people”, Hay explains. Rescude is seeking collaborators to share this journey. “The key, right now, is to find the right research partners. It is estimated that over 100 000 people in the Netherlands are currently unable to work, due to long COVID. In 12 months we hope to have a solid body of clinical data to prove that our device helps these people return to normal lives. We also expect to have fully refined our product design, based on feedback from users and clinicians.”
Health Valley: the leading care innovation network of East Netherlands
To find potential research partners Rescude became a member of the Health Valley network. Their guidance opens doors into the medical community. Health Valley and Oost NL have supported Rescude in finding information and entrance to researchers, experts and hospitals to validate their ideas and connect to the relevant stakeholders.
“Coming from Australia, we have been hugely impressed by the support Oost NL and Health Valley offer start-ups, and by the strength and depth of the medtech ecosystem in the eastern Netherlands. There is a really strong culture of welcoming new ideas and people,” according to Hay.
“It is estimated that over 100 000 people in the Netherlands are currently unable to work, due to long COVID. In 12 months we hope to have a solid body of clinical data to prove that our device helps these people return to normal lives. We also expect to have fully refined our product design, based on feedback from users and clinicians. The key, right now, is to find the right research partners.”
Powered by the Dutch National Enterprise Agency (RVO) The Netherlands Point of Entry is the first stop for international talent looking to work or set up a business in the Netherlands. A startup visa is one of the means to enter The Netherlands. East Netherlands Development Agency (Oost NL) is an official startup facilitator. This means that, with Oost NL as their facilitator, innovative non-EU citizens can grow their startups in East Netherlands (Gelderland or Overijssel). Oost NL is welcoming international startups who aim to solve global challenges using our regional ecosystem.
In this series we’ve previously published about: PLAEX Technologies, ReShore and Sophie's BioNutrients.